There are so many different things to see at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Every room brings you face to face with a piece of aviation history. From the Wright Brothers to NASA and everything in between.

In this room highlighting some planes from World War II, you find what many people consider one of the best fighters of that era, the North American P-51D Mustang (bottom).  Its combination of speed, range, maneuverability, and firepower gave it great versatility. Its use in all major theaters of the war included long-range high-altitude escort, strafing, and photo reconnaissance.

Above it is the Macchi C.202 Folgore (Lightning), the most effective Italian fighter used in quantity during World War II. The Folgore’s performance and maneuverability were excellent; however, its armament was inferior to other contemporary fighters.

The North American P-51D Mustang and Macchi C.202 Folgore (Lightning) can be found at the Air and Space Museum. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.